Acorn User1st October 1985
Published in Acorn User #039
Sold On The Beeb
Business Programming On Your BBC Micro
The title suggests that this book is of more general interest than it actually is. It is designed for sales and marketing managers who would like to do simple sales forecasting on their Beebs.
After a brief introduction and some general thoughts about the role of the computer in the sales environment, the book enters the world of programming, with two chapters introducing the reader to Basic. These are quite good, as far as they go, but it becomes apparent that the authors are using old-style Basic programming techniques, with GOTO and GOSUB to build up their program examples. Although they are using BBC Basic they do not use the facilities provided for better structured programs - there isn't a REPEAT... UNTIL or a PROC to be seen.
The book then goes on to specific applications, which include simple trend adjustment of monthly sales figures to allow for inflation or number of working days; plotting of graphs and bar charts; sales forecasting using exponential smoothing; a simple database for customer records; and finally, a design for combining all the above into one program.
These programs are well designed but are in pre-BBC Basic, although to be fair, the GOSUB routines are well separated using suitable numbering.
The book is a good introduction to what can be done on the BBC Micro to help in sales analysis, but should not be used as a primer in BBC Basic programming.